By Lorcan Roche Kelly
The British pound dropped below $1.2200 overnight and was trading at $1.2185 by 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time as investors pushed the currency toward its worst run of losses in almost three yearsdue to rising no-deal Brexit concerns. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said that he will spend the next few weeks trying to get the European Union to renegotiate the current exit deal, while also preparing to leave the bloc in case he fails. The one silver lining to the collapse in the pound is that the FTSE 100 Index continues to climb as the long established inverse relationship between the two still holds.
Apple Inc. reports earnings after the bell today, with investors expecting a slump in iPhone sales, while hoping other product sectors will boost performance. Earlier, Huawei Technologies Co. showed it was withstanding U.S. efforts to curb its business by reported a 23% rise in revenue in the first half of the year. BP Plc beat expectations with adjusted net income of $2.81 billion in the second quarter, results which spurred shares to rise as much as 3.4% in London trading.
U.S. delegates including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are in Shanghai for meetings with their Chinese counterparts, with both sides expected to dine together today before spending tomorrow in talks. Hopes remain low for a breakthrough as neither side seems eager to make a deal. Lighthizer, meanwhile, has found what might be an easier trade partner to target for their large surplus with the U.S.
Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.3% while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.5% higher after the Bank of Japan held its monetary policy unchanged. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.8% lower at 5:45 a.m. as disappointing corporate results weighed on the regional gauge. S&P 500 futures pointed to a drop at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.053% and gold was slightly higher.
Household income and spending data is expected to show a slowdown in June when the numbers are published at 8:30 a.m. The PCE deflator is expected to hold unchanged at 1.5%, with a rise in the core reading to 1.7% when it is released at the same time. Pending home sales for June and consumer confidence for July are both published at 10:00 a.m. The Fed’s two-day policy meetingbegins in Washington and there is a Democratic presidential candidate debate in Detroit later.